Iran may carry up to 3M tons of cargo to Europe through Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 25

By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:

Iran may carry up to three million tons of cargo annually to Europe through Azerbaijan, TRACECA international transport cooperation program national secretary on Azerbaijan, expert Akif Mustafayev told Trend.

Commenting on the recent statements of the Iranian side that the cargo going to Europe through Turkey may be redirected through Azerbaijan, Mustafayev said that this is quite realistic.

“Recent developments in Turkey in the area bordering with Iran, the frequent cases of terror threaten transportation of ​​goods on this territory,” said Mustafayev. “The latest, in some way historical agreements between Azerbaijan and Iran, for example, regarding joining of railways of the two countries, framework agreements signed by the heads of states, construction of the railway bridge over the Astarachay river, creation of cargo terminals on both sides of the border, decisions adopted in Azerbaijan regarding handling of cargo from road transport to railway, tax exemption of the carriers - all this creates good conditions for Iranian carriers to send goods to Europe through Azerbaijan and Georgia.”

He added that the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan have recently become more positive and friendly, which creates a good basis for future cooperation.

“One should also consider the fact that Iran is a part of the TRACECA transport corridor, and a meeting with the representatives of the Iranian transport ministry was recently held in Odessa, Ukraine,” the national secretary said. “That is, a basis to use Azerbaijan as a transit country between Iran and Europe is being created. Iran's intentions are very positive and real. Diversification of routes is currently taking place in the world, because no one wants to depend on only one route.”

Speaking about the possible cargo volumes, which will pass through Azerbaijan, Mustafayev said that Iran carried nearly three million tons of cargo per year to Europe through Turkey.

“I believe that Iran will be able to carry the same volume of cargo, may be slightly less through Azerbaijan,” Mustafayev said. “The cargo will pass through Azerbaijan to Georgia, and from there via the Black Sea ports to Europe, and when the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is launched, the cargo will go through Turkey as well.”

“Of course, the route becomes longer for Iran, but it’s necessary to take such steps for the sake of security of the cargo,” he added. “Given the fact that modernization of railways in Azerbaijan and Iran is currently underway, the time loss can be compensated by increasing the speed of trains. The only thing that remains to be done is to start concrete actions on this issue.”

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Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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